This remarkable film version of Steinbeck’s novel was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including for Best Picture, Actor (Henry Fonda), Film Editing, Sound and Writing. John Ford won the Best Director Oscar® and actress Jane Darwell won Best Actress for her portrayal of Ma Joad, the matriarch of the struggling migrant farmer family. Following a prison term he served for manslaughter, Tom Joad returns to find his family homestead overwhelmed by weather and the greed of the banking industry. With little work potential on the horizon of the Oklahoma dust bowls, the entire family packs up and heads for the promised land: California. But the arduous trip and harsh living conditions they encounter offer little hope, and family unity proves as daunting a challenge as any other they face. –20th Century Fox
Maine-born John Ford (born Sean Aloysius O’Fearna) originally went to Hollywood in the shadow of his older brother, Francis, an actor/writer/director who had worked on Broadway. Originally a laborer, propman’s assistant, and occasional stuntman for his brother, he rose to became an assistant director and supporting actor before turning to directing in 1917. Ford became best known for his Westerns, of which he made dozens through the 1920s, but he didn’t achieve status as a major director until the mid-‘30s, when his films for RKO (The Lost Patrol 1934, The Informer 1935), 20th Century Fox (Young Mr. Lincoln 1939, The Grapes of Wrath 1940), and Walter Wanger (Stagecoach 1939), won over the public, the critics, and earned various Oscars and Academy nominations. His 1940s films included one military-produced documentary co-directed by Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland, December 7th (1943), which creaks badly today (especially compared with… read more
A very fine portrayal of Depression era. Tbqh, Fonda's role didn't flower well, at least not as I expected, as there were several other characters to be flourished within the same dimensions. Besides, a meticulously written screenplay as humor and wit were melded very nicely. I' open to a veritable interpretation of Casey’s sentiment of “one big soul”.
David Greven in the new Winter 2010 issue of Cineaste: "Judging by these first three entries of Arsenal Pulp Press's new series Queer Film
For the lonely desert ghosts, the end of the world has already come. A raw and virtuous film by the great John Ford, The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of the Joad clan and their cross country… read review
Fine performances and gorgeous cinematography. Some powerful moments offset by others in which the heavy hand of polemics destroys the credibility of the scene. Illustrates the casual generosity of… read review
Director John Ford’s sweeping adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novel gets off to an extraordinary start – with entrancing, grim black and white imagery and powerful cinematic storytelling. Unfortunately… read review